Sanzaar apologises for Pumas absence from photoshoot

Sanzaar says no disrespect was intended after a captain’s photoshoot went ahead without anyone from the Pumas present on the eve of round five of the Rugby Championship.

This past Saturday, Argentina coach Mario Ledesma launched a scathing attack on Rugby Championship bosses, claiming his side were “disrespected” after a captain’s photoshoot went ahead without anyone from the Pumas.

The event took place in Townsville on Friday to promote a double-header of rugby action a day later with Australian skipper Michael Hooper, New Zealand’s Ardie Savea and South Africa’s Siya Kolisi smiling and joking in front of the cameras.

But Argentina captain Julian Montoya was absent, as the team had not yet arrived in the northern Queensland town.

A fuming Ledesma said Saturday night it should not have gone ahead without an Argentinian representative.

“The boys and staff felt really disrespected,” he said, raising the issue without being prompted after his team crashed 27-8 to the Wallabies that evening, in their fifth straight defeat.

“We’re not asking for much. Last year when South Africa pulled out [of the tournament], we came over here, went through strict lockdown.

“We were away from home three or four months and we’re the only team that haven’t played at home for more than two years.

“We’re always travelling, we never complain but we feel sometimes we’re getting treated with disrespect and we just continue, cop it on the chin.”

Sanzaar has since issued a statement that suggests there was a communication breakdown:

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Craig Lewis